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STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART

India, 1999 (MIFF 2000, International Panorama)

Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansalis

Spectacular impossibly vibrant and charged with electric song and dance, this Bollywood epic embodies the modern India in comedy, tragedy and music, music, music!

In a palatial house in Gujart lives the extended family of celebrated classical singer Pandit Darbar. The entire household eagerly awaits the arrival of Pandit's new student, Samir. This half-Italian playboy livens proceedings with his brash manner, comic antics, disregard for tradition and looks that have the ladies swooning. Initial friction with favourite daughter Nandini turns to passion then heartache when an arranged marriage thwarts their love. But this is merely the beginning of a chain of events that spreads out across continents and lives as the film flits from India to Italy and back again.

Ravishing scenery, sumptuous costumes, breathtaking performances. No recent Indian film has so successfully blended traditional Hindu rituals and tenets of ideal existence with a global perspective.

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